We Dig Dinos!

I think at some point almost every little is fascinated with dinosaurs- I know when I was 5 my parents took me to Dinosaur National Monument out in Utah and for a good while after that I wanted to be a paleontologist when I grew up- so I thought dino week was a must-do for a homeschooling theme! Don’t forget to stomp on over to my toddler post “Rawr!” for even more art and sensory play ideas like an outdoor dinosaur hunt and a dino egg painting craft!

Literacy:

-Dinosaur, Dinosaur poem: This little chant is to the “tune” of the jump rope rhyme “Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear”. We added it each morning this week to our daily calendar time. First, we would say it together while I pointed to each word to build sight word recognition, then we would say it again with the motions mentioned in the poem. Both of my littles loved it- even my two year old followed along with the motions! I got it from MJ on Pinterest.

-Dinosaur letter chomp: My little had a blast with this activity- and it was zero prep which is always a plus! You just place a set of ABC magnets on the floor, give your little a toy dino and call out letters for your little to find and chomp!

-Dinosaur letter tile spelling cards: Even though this was a spelling activity, it was a great way to work on letter recognition and matching upper to lowercase letters. First, I printed, laminated and cut out the dinosaur letter tile spelling cards on Teachers Pay Teachers. Then I got out the coordinating letter tiles (if you have Scrabble, those tiles totally work!) for each card, but scrambled them up. Then I had my little match each letter tile to the correct letter on the card to spell the word. When he was finished each card, we would slowly spell the word together by pointing to and saying each letter.

-Dino footprint beginning sounds puzzles: I printed these dinosaur themed beginning sound puzzles on Teachers Pay Teachers, laminated them and cut them out, then had my little “read” each picture, identify the beginning sound, and find the letter that made that sound to complete each puzzle.

-D is for dinosaur handwriting practice: I printed this letter D practice page from Teachers Pay Teachers, then had my little practice writing while we reviewed the letter name over and over. I love that it also included a letter D hunt off to the side!

-Dinosaur book list:

Math:

-Dinosaur egg hunt: Anything involving candy is a huge win in our house, so I knew this one would be a hit! I placed 2-4 Skittles in some Easter eggs we had on hand, hid them around the house, then had my little find them. When he had gathered them all up, he opened each egg and poured the candy into a pile. Then he counted the pile. (I told him he also had to split it equally with me since I was the one who cleaned up most of the toys earlier, which was a great lesson in division! LoL I asked him how he could split the group in half and be sure we both got the same amount and then let him figure it out.)

-1-10 picture puzzle: I printed, laminated and cut out this dinosaur number puzzle, then had my little use the numbers at the bottom of each piece to put the puzzle together.

-Dinosaur count and find: I printed this dinosaur number recognition activity on Teachers Pay Teachers, then had my little count each group of dinosaurs and circle the matching number.

-Dinosaur count, write, compare: I got this dinosaur count, write, compare activity from Teachers Pay Teachers. I printed each page, then had my little count the dinosaurs in each group, write the numbers, then compare them using the words more, less, or the same.

Science:

-How big were the dinosaurs activity: This is a MUST do activity from Frugal Fun for Boys– you guys, it was soooo cool! First, print and put together this life size Triceratops footprint on your floor (it’s 12 pages, but doesn’t use a lot of ink). Have your little compare their own footprint to the Triceratops one by placing their foot inside it, counting how many steps it takes to get from side to side, and guessing how many of their footprints it would take to cover the whole Triceratops footprint then figuring it out by tracing their foot on construction paper and covering the Triceratops print with their footprints. Next, go outside and measure 90 feet (we had to measure 3 sets of 30 because our tape measure wouldn’t go that far!) Mark either end and have your little stand at one end and you stand at the other- that’s how big a Diplodocus was from head to tail! MIND blowing! Finally, cut out a 6-7 inch tooth and compare it to your teeth- that’s the size Tyrannosaurs Rex’s teeth were- yikes!

-Dinosaur bone craft: We discussed how scientists only know about the dinosaurs because they’ve dug up skeletons for each one. We also talked about how dinosaurs have similar bones to humans, such as a back bone (vertebrae), ribs, leg bones, a skull, and feet bones. Then I gave my little the outline of a dinosaur I had sketched on black paper, several Q-tips- some trimmed to be shorter, and placed wet glue where each of the basic bones would be (back bone, ribs, skull, leg bones, feet). Then he glued Q-tips to the page to make the dinosaur’s skeleton.

-Dinosaur ice excavation: My mom showed me this idea back when my preschooler was 2, and since then it’s been a favorite activity- especially on a hot summer day! It’s SO easy to prep too- you just pop some toy dinos into a pan, add some water and place it in the freezer overnight! You can add a few drops of food coloring too if you want to make the water colorful- but plain ice works! Then, add a bit of water to the ice in the pan to loosen it from the bottom, flip the pan over into your hand and take the ice chunk outside along with some toy tools and let your littles try to get the dinosaurs out. It’s a great hands on way to explore how scientists get dinosaur fossils out of rock- especially if your little throws the “rock” to get the dinos out and ends up breaking one like mine did! It was a great “teachable moment” on how scientists have to be very careful when they’re excavating because they don’t want to break and ruin any of their fossils!

-Dinosaur habitat: My little got a fun make your own dinosaur terrarium kit for Christmas, so of course this was the perfect week to complete it! We talked about how the Earth looked when the dinosaurs were around, then I helped him make the dinosaur and accessories (volcano, palm tree) of out plaster of paris. He painted them, and put the terrarium together himself. You can get several kits on Amazon for around $20, or you can make your own using plants, dirt and rocks from outside along with an old peanut butter jar and some toy dinos!

Art:

-D is for dinosaur drawing activity: I drew a large capital D on a sheet of paper, then told my little to add to it to make it into a dinosaur- I did one too because, hey, art is fun!

Supply/shopping list:

  • letter tiles (or Scrabble)
  • toy dinosaurs
  • magnet letters
  • Easter eggs
  • small candies (Skittles or M&Ms would work)
  • clothes pins
  • dinosaur habitat kit (or peanut butter jar, rocks, dirt, and plant pieces)
  • Q-tips
  • tape measure

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